The #WNDB Campaign Team!

Meet our Team Members!

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Aisha Saeed is a YA author. Her upcoming debut WRITTEN IN THE STARS will be released in 2015 by Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books. She is represented by Taylor Martindale at Full Circle Literary Agency. She is also a contributing author in the New York Times featured anthology Love Inshallah. Aisha has been blogging for over a decade and her writing has appeared in places such as The Orlando Sentinel, and BlogHer. She is also the YA contributor at Story and Chai. When Aisha isn’t writing or chasing her two little boys, you can find her reading, baking, doodling henna patterns, or daydreaming about eight consecutive hours of sleep. Twitter: @aishacs

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Chelsea Pitcher is an ocean-worshipping, karaoke-singing Oregonian with a penchant for rescuing animals and people. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light. Her debut novel THE S-WORD is available from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster and THE LAST CHANGELING comes out in 2014 from Flux. Twitter: @Chelsea_Pitcher

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Ellen Oh - Originally from NYC, Ellen Oh is an adjunct college instructor and former entertainment lawyer with an insatiable curiosity for ancient Asian history. She is the author of The Prophecy Series (PROPHECY, WARRIOR, & KING) a YA fantasy trilogy set in Korea from HarperTeen. She also loves martial arts films, K-pop, K-dramas, cooking shows, and is a rabid fan of The Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra series. Ellen lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and three daughters and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel. Her agent is the one and only Barry Goldblatt of BG Literary. Tumblr: elloellenoh Twitter: @elloecho

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Grace Hwang Lynch is a freelance writer, editor and photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. A former television news reporter, she still spends her days driving around in a van and waiting for things to happen. In the meantime, she blogs about Asian fusion family and food at HapaMama.com. Her work has also been published on PBS Parents, BlogHer, and Salon. Twitter: @HapaMamaGrace

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Hannah Ehrlich is the Director of Marketing & Publicity at Lee & Low Books. She loves speaking about why we need more diverse books and has done so in several places including NYU, Hunter College, and on Huffington Post Live. She graduated from Tufts University and lives in Queens (the most diverse county in the country!) and her hobbies include eating her way through NYC and reading books that make her cry on the subway. Favorite diverse books include Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Yummy by G. Neri, and Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales. Twitter: @leeandlow

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I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, NONE OF THE ABOVE (Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins, 4/28/2015). Her essays have appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News. She is represented by Jessica Regel at Foundry Literary + Media, and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. She is a recovering ice hockey player. Twitter: @iwgregorio

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Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She is the author of the contemporary young adult novels The Summer I Wasn’t Me, My Life After Now, and the upcoming What You Left Behind. Jess is a huge supporter of diversity of all kinds in children’s literature, and is continually reminded of how lucky she is to get to write and publish stories about things she thinks are important. By day, Jess is an Editor at Crimson Romance, Adams/F+W’s romance eBook imprint. She is represented by Kate McKean of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Some of her favorite things include seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Twitter: @jessverdi

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Karen Sandler earned her MS in computer science from UCLA and worked as a software engineer, including work on communications satellites and the Space Shuttle program. In the late 1990s, she wrote numerous romance novels for adults, then switched gears to write TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION, a diverse young adult science fiction trilogy from multi-cultural publisher Lee & Low. Thrilled to be part of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign team, she lives in California’s Gold Country with her husband of 30+ years. She is represented by Lindsay Ribar of SJGA. Twitter: @karensandlerYA

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Kaye is a twenty-something Muslim girl who reads a lot of books, writes a lot more, and wears a lot of (figurative) hats. She is the creator of the hashtag #NotYourStockMuslim, a reporter for YA Interrobang and intern under agent Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron and Associates. In her spare time (read: when she has time to breathe), she is your typical overworked college student, avid YA reader and book blogger, and fantasy writer. Twitter: @gildedspine

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Lamar “L. R.” Giles writes stories for teens and adults. He’s never met a genre he didn’t like, having penned science fiction, fantasy, horror, and noir thrillers, among others. He is a Virginia native, a Hopewell High Blue Devil, and an Old Dominion University Monarch. He resides in Chesapeake, Virginia, with his wife. Twitter: @LRGiles

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Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller (YA and MG), globe-trotter, and proud-to-be geek with degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is the founder of DiversifYA, an inclusive community where people share experiences, in the hope that all of us who write will realize the world is much bigger than our little patch of earth. That we are diversity, and that one day our stories will reflect that. She is represented by Jennifer Udden at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Twitter: mariekeyn

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Martha White is a lifetime reader, a longtime writer, and has recently added literary agent assistant and indie-publishing services professional to her growing list of book-related activities. Twitter: @sekritmartha

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Meg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author who writes picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. She is the 2014 recipient of the Pura Belpré medal and the 2013 CYBILS Fiction winner for her young adult novel, YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS. She is also the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers medal winner for her picture book TIA ISA WANTS A CAR, among others. Meg’s work examines how cultures intersect through the eyes of young people, and she brings to audiences stories that speak to both what is unique in Latino culture and to the qualities that are universal. Her favorite protagonists are strong girls. In March 2014, she was recognized as one of the CNN 10 Visionary Women in America. When she is not writing, Meg works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth and/or literacy. She lives with her family in Richmond, Virginia. Twitter: @Meg_Medina

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Mike Jung is a library professional by day and a writer of MG novels by night, although one day he WILL conquer the world with a picture book. Or at least get one published. His debut novel, GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES, was published in 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, and he’s also contributed essays to the anthologies DEAR TEEN ME (Zest, 2012) and BREAK THESE RULES! (Chicago Review Press, 2013). Mike is a proud member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks team, an only semi-competent ukulele player who knows how to fool people into thinking he’s better than he is, and a client of Ammi-Joan Paquette at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Twitter: @mike_jung

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Miranda Paul is a teacher, international student coordinator, and picture book author. Her credits include more than 50 digital readers, articles, and children’s poems, in addition to four upcoming picture books. ONE PLASTIC BAG: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of The Gambia, is her debut title, slated for release from Lerner Publishing (Millbrook Press) by Earth Day 2015. Her second book, WATER IS WATER, illustrated by Jason Chin will also release in Spring 2015 (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press). Miranda and her husband, Baptiste Paul, fundraise for Books for Africa, Inc.’s One Million Books for Gambia initiative. For the past few years, Miranda has also served as a representative for the Northeast Region of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Twitter: @Miranda_Paul and at RateYourStory.org, a site that helps writers polish and revise their manuscripts before submitting.

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Natasha M. Heck is a native North Dakotan. She attended Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated with a degree in English emphasis Creative Writing. She works as an author’s assistant and is a columnist for YA Interrobang. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband Joey and their two cats, Topher and Sophie. Twitter: @natashamheck

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Rebecca Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC.  These days, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and son, and writes very nerdy contemporary young adult fiction. Her debut novel, SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, releases from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in April of 2015. She is repped by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency, and is thrilled to be a part of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks team. Twitter: @beckyalbertalli

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S.E. Sinkhorn is a MG/YA writer represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary. Speculative fiction is her drug of choice, though she also enjoys the occasional clever girl detective. She maintains the blog Maybe Genius, where she writes about writing, publishing, feminism, and pop culture, and is also the sole moderator of the Tumblr YA!Flash. By day, she is an online marketer specializing in content writing and social media. By night, she watches too much television and sometimes writes weird books. Twitter: @sesinkhorn

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S.K. Falls enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards in Charleston, SC where she lives and imbibes coffee. Her husband and two small children seem not to mind when she hastily scribbles novel lines on stray limbs in the absence of notepads. She is represented by Thao Le of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Twitter: @skfallssc

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Stacey H. Lee is a fourth generation Chinese-American whose people came to California during the heydays of the cowboys.  She believes she still has a bit of cowboy dust in her soul.  A native of southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall.  After practicing law in the Silicon Valley for several years, she finally took up the pen because she wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain.  She plays classical piano, raises children, and writes YA fiction. Her debut book UNDER A PAINTED SKY is coming from G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2015. Twitter: @staceyleeauthor

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Stacy Whitman is the Founder and Publisher at Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes diverse fantasy, science fiction, and mystery for children and young adults. She holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College. Twitter: @tubooks

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Tracy López is a bilingual freelance writer. Her writing has appeared in print publications such as SerPadres Magazine and Café Magazine. Current positions include contributing writer to latinamom.me, and editor-in-chief of Latinaish.com, a language and culture blog. Born and raised in the suburbs outside of Washington D.C., Tracy writes non-fiction by day and fiction by night, from her home less than two hours from the nation’s capital where she lives with her husband and two sons. Twitter: @TracyDeLopez

Notes

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    So many amazing people doing fantastic work! ~ Lourdes
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